It seems that no two RCI timeshare packages are the same; one person may have a set week every year with an additional two bonus weeks to use, while another person may have points that renew every other year with two weeks of extra vacations. Make sure you know exactly what your timeshare includes, so you can utilize the time to its fullest potential – rest assured that RCI will not go out of their way to remind you of any bonus time you have left over. Once you know what kind of time you are working with, you can explore the many ways RCI has for members to utilize extra weeks or points they may have accrued.
RCI Extra Vacations were created to satisfy members’ desires for more frequent vacations and variable lengths of stay at affordable rates. They can be given to eligible friends and family through the use of guest certificates (for an additional fee of $59 for US resorts). No exchange is required to enjoy an RCI Extra Vacation, no matter how often they are used. This RCI bonus time is used in one of two ways – RCI Extra Vacations Getaways and RCI Last Call Vacations. Both of these types of travel can be booked online through the RCI website, and you get a discount when booking online (10% off for Extra Vacations and $25 off for Last Call Vacations).
RCI Extra Vacations can be booked as early as one year out, and as with everything in timesharing, the sooner you are able to book, the more likely it will be for you to obtain your first choice resort. Last Call trips can only be booked a maximum of 90 days ahead of your arrival date, and resort choices are often limited – done on a first-come, first-served basis. Extra Vacations are pricier than Last Call and range from $299-$499, whereas Last Call Vacations go to $249 maximum.
Another option for some RCI members, depending on what type of extra time you have available, would be to put it toward a cruise, airfare, car rentals, or short stays, but this is usually not the case with RCI weeks members, so you will want to call a representative if you own a set week and are contemplating this type of usage. RCI points typically offers more flexibility, and your points, whether they are ‘extra’ or go toward your yearly vacation time, may easily be applied to other travel arrangements, like the ones listed above.
But do not be fooled, it is not necessary to posses extra weeks or an abundance of points to take extra vacations using RCI – all members are able to utilize ‘bonus time’ as long as they are up to date on their membership dues, maintenance fees, and pay the weekly fee for the resort they are booking. I imagine the timeshare salespeople throw in these ‘extra weeks’ to add value to the timeshare being purchased, and for those of you like myself who purchased timeshare, it works! They neglect to tell you that bonus weeks are not easy to get, and are certainly not available on an unlimited basis. Generally you will be lucky to get one or two a year, unless you are extremely flexible with scheduling or want to spend time in Alabama somewhere.